User Review: Tarptent Virga
Design: non-freestanding single wall floorless tent
Ease of Setup: very easy, but siting is important
Weight: less than 1.5 lbs
Price Paid: $125 used
This is the 2nd generation Virga without floor or extended beak. Design is quite elegant. I think Henry Shires has this design (or one similar) available on his website although he no longer makes/markets the product.
This is one of three solo shelters I own (the other two are an OR Basic Bivy and a MSR Hubba.) It is the lightest of the three. I use it with a kite-weight Tyvek "floor"/footprint (I think originally ordered with the tent). Perimeter mesh works well. Front zipper door and the beak is adequate. This tent sets up very easily if you follow the instructions and quickly. It can be set up in a wind much easier than most 2 wall tents or even a tarp. Weight is only in the neighborhood of 18 oz. if memory serves.
It is not idiot proof. Fail to take into account water flow at your bivouac if it starts raining or do a bad job of guessing wind direction and you may have trouble. In the first case you'll be in water. In the second you will probably be okay, but may have rain blowing in the front. As with any shelter, you should augment the quality of your bivouac by making intelligent use of natural shelter.
Henry went off towards higher weights after this design. Maybe he is reeling that back in now. As noted, it is an elegant minimalist shelter. Preferred set up is with a trekking pole for the front and leave the included front pole at home.
Interior room is adequate. Like most single wall tents you can get condensation in the right environment, but the ventilation is quite good. If you roll all over in the night you bang the wall and get water on your bag. I've never had a problem though. An overlooked benefit of a single wall tent is that there is no floor to keep clean or try futilely to sweep out.
Where to Buy
The Tarptent Virga is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Or you may want to check for a dealer list or direct sales on the Tarptent website.
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